*This article was originally written for our Swiss market, it may contain Swiss references.
By Gender Lens expert and Yova Yellow Initiator Karina Storinggaard.
Have you heard of ‘gender lens investing’? Chances are, you haven’t. And that’s okay. But it’s time we change that. If you asked me in an elevator, I might say something like:
Gender lens investing (GLI) is investing for financial return, while also considering the benefits for women and gender equality.
In other words: gender lens investing is like grabbing a magnifying glass and inspecting your investment portfolio according to considerations like:
- Which companies are championing gender equality?
- What impact do these companies have on the lives of women around the world?
- How can this investment achieve attractive returns and put us on a path towards a world with more gender balance?
Less talk, more action
Anyone in the gender equality space will nod their heads when I say that a lot of energy, money, time, and frustrating conversations go into making a small step forward.
As a result of this slow moving, round-and-round dynamic, many women and men have sadly grown tired of talking about gender equality. Understandably so. What we need is an actionable solution. And real change.
This is where GLI comes in.
Voting with your money
GLI is an approach that is simple, hands-on and incredibly powerful. It allows you to put our francs where your values are, while making attractive returns in the process. Think of how much money is traded on the global stock market every single year (around 70 billion US dollars, according to the World Bank). Think of the piles of money, just languishing in Swiss saving accounts, neither generating interest nor impact.
Research shows that every third woman in Switzerland has never invested – think of the positive change that could happen if all those women started investing with a gender lens!
Gender lens investing matters, because it activates these people to vote with their money. People, who may have been ambivalent towards the stock market or not aware of its empowering possibilities. Gender lens investing adds a purpose, emotions and meaning to a world that is often perceived as rational and calculated.
Last but not least, GLI forces institutions and companies alike to put their practices through the gender lens, learning and uncovering areas to improve.
Gender equality is about balance
Now that we’ve talked about what GLI is – let’s talk about what it is not. It’s not charity and it’s not a product for women. GLI is for everyone who cares about a more equitable world. The best thing about a world with more gender balance is that everyone benefits.
So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s say it with our wallet and vote for more gender equality.